Monday, May 11, 2009 – Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn of Brooks & Dunn, and Dierks Bentley each received the CMA International Artist Achievement Award for their contributions to country music overseas May 6 in Sydney, during the final stop of their Australian tour.
"Halfway around the world, it is easy to say, but it takes an amazing amount of coordination and commitment from so many people to pull it off, and ultimately, and most importantly, the support from the fans," Brooks said. "As usual, we get to just walk out on stage and do our thing, but it's hard not to stand there in Sydney, or wherever, and go, 'Wow, how did this happen?' Thanks so much to everyone who shared this experience with us."
"It's fantastic to be recognized by the CMA after all my international touring in Japan, Europe and now Australia - this is very cool," said Bentley.
"I can't think of any more deserving U.S. artists to win this award," said CMA Board member Rob Potts, CEO of Rob Potts Entertainment Edge. "Their tour here has had a huge impact on the profile of country music in this territory and it's fantastic that we were able to present the awards to them in Australia."
Formerly the International Touring Artist Award, the CMA International Artist Achievement Award recognizes outstanding achievement by a U.S.-based artist who contributes to the awareness and development of country music outside of the U.S. Previous winners include Dixie Chicks, Shania Twain, Keith Urban, Trisha Yearwood and Dwight Yoakam.